How To Use iCloud Drive For Multiple Users On a Single Mac.
If you’ve been using a Mac for a long time, you probably have integrated your iCloud Drive account on your computer. This makes storing and sharing files through the cloud much easier than ever. Since this is an Apple feature, it works natively with your Mac’s built-in tools.
If your Mac is used by two or more users, you can also add their iCloud drives to your computer. However, there is a limitation that prevents you from adding two iCloud drives to one account on your computer. Your Mac user account can only support one iCloud Drive account at a time.
So how do you deal with the limitation and have multiple iCloud drives running on Mac at the same time?
Use Fast User Switching to use multiple iCloud Drive accounts
There is a feature on your Mac that makes it easy to switch between two accounts on your system. This is called “Fast User Switching” and lets you sign in directly to another account on your Mac with the click of a button.
What’s great about this is that even if your master account is in the foreground and you use it, the other account will still be on the system and processes will continue to run on it.
This means that you can add your other iCloud Drive account to a new user on Mac and be able to sync files for both accounts at the same time. Setting it up is pretty simple.
Create a new user account
If you haven’t already, you need to create a new account on your Mac, which you will use to integrate with another iCloud Drive account.
- Click on the Apple logo at the top-left corner of the screen and select System Preferences.
- Select “Users and Groups” on the next screen to open the user settings menu.
- Click on the + (plus) sign at the bottom of the user list and you can add a new account. Enter the required information on the screen and then click “Create User” to add the account to your system.
Enable Fast User Switching
Now that you have created a new account that allows you to use a different iCloud Drive account, you need to enable Fast User Switching to enable fast switching between the two accounts.
- Click the Apple icon at the top and choose System Preferences.
- Select the Users and Groups option on the next screen.
- Click the Login Options button at the bottom of the user list.
- On the next screen, you can change several settings related to user accounts. Find the option labeled Show Fast User Switching menu as and check the box for it. This will enable this feature on your Mac.
You’ll find the new option in the menu bar (at the top of your screen) on your Mac. It should list your full account name and when you click on it, the other user accounts that you have on your computer are displayed.
Sign in to a new account and add iCloud Drive
Now that your new account is created and ready to use, let’s sign in and add your iCloud Drive to it.
Make sure you have your iCloud sign-in information handy as you will be entering it in one of the next steps.
- Click on the newly added icon in the menu bar for quick user switching and select the new account you created.
- You will be prompted for a password for the new account. Enter your password and it will most likely launch the setup wizard. Set the parameters the way you like. You may also be asked to enter your iCloud login information, but skip that for now as you will do that later in this guide.
- Click the Apple logo at the top and choose System Preferences.
- Select iCloud on the next screen if you want to add an iCloud account to your new account.
- On the next screen, you will be asked to enter your Apple ID. Enter your Apple / iCloud ID and click Next at the bottom.
- Enter your iCloud ID password on the next screen and click Next.
- If you have not enabled it yet, you will be prompted to set up two-factor authentication. It’s up to you to decide whether to do it or not, but highly recommended.
- You now have a screen with two options. You can check the box next to the first one and click “Next”. The second option, Find My Mac, can only be used by one Mac user, and if enabled on another account, it won’t let you enable it on your account.
- You will now be taken to a screen that lists all iCloud features. Make sure the iCloud Drive option is ticked. This ensures that the drive is available for use on your computer.
- Launch a Finder window by clicking Finder in the Dock. You will see a new item labeled iCloud Drive in the left sidebar. This is what allows you to use a different iCloud Drive account on your computer.
You can now upload and download files from this newly added iCloud Drive account. Plus, it will keep syncing even if you’ve switched to your primary user account using Fast User Switching.
How to Delete Multiple iCloud Drive Accounts on Mac
If you no longer want to use multiple iCloud drives on your Mac, you can remove them in a few steps.
- Sign in to the account you want to remove the drive from.
- Launch System Preferences and click iCloud.
- If you don’t want to use any of the iCloud features with your account, click Sign Out.
- If you only want to disable iCloud Drive, uncheck the checkbox on the screen.
- iCloud Drive will no longer appear in Finder.